More Nonsense from Ken Ham

I’m thinking that a dragon, a mythical creature, fits into most of these (many of them have reptilian skin). I think you would enjoy @Christy’s article. I look forward to what you think.

to extend it further, there have been pictures of angels by ancient Roman ideas (that don’t fit with Hebrew ones) I think they’re on some of the same sorts of engravings. How does that differ from other fantastical beasts?

To quote Hausa, Ubangiji shi barakace ka! (the Lord bless you!)

1 Like

Behemoth in Job isn’t described as having a tail like a cedar. That’s a common misconception. Instead, in Job 40:17 it is something behemoth does to its tail that evokes a cedar tree. What it does is khafats, a unique Hebrew verb that seems to mean to stiffen or make taut. But it may be a spelling variant of khafets, a common verb for delighting or taking joy in something (such as in Job 22:3). The trouble is that neither of these meanings seem to fit in this verse, so many lexicons suggest it might have a quite different meaning here, maybe even something nearly opposite like “bend.”

But there’s no need to conjure up a new meaning for the word. What’s needed is more context. The previous verse discussed behemoth’s strength in its loins (a word for the inner, hidden reproductive organs) and belly/womb. So either the beast has a body builder’s six-pack, or God is speaking of behemoth’s impressive reproduction, focusing on both male and female specimens.

Then comes our verse. After describing the tail’s action, we hear that some part is tightly wrapped. Modern translations suggest “thighs”; the KJV had “stones” and the Latin Vulgate used testiculorum. I’m not sure if there’s a better reason for the modern change than that it’s easier to read from the pulpit. Perhaps they decided to stick back in some of the thys they removed so nobody gets stuck reading about testicles.

The cadence of Hebrew poetry leads us to expect that thighs are not in view. The previous verse introduced the topic of reproduction. This verse talks about a “tail” that when pleasured or stiffened resembles a cedar tree. When its tail is in this state, behemoth’s testicles are tightly wrapped.

You don’t have to be a biologist to see a quite accurate description of a very particular event. Even with a euphemistic use of “tail” it’s still graphic – and for Job, I expect, humbling.

It’s also worth noticing that behemoth hides in marshes, covered by reeds. Job 40:15–24 as a whole is not how anyone would describe a sauropod dinosaur.

6 Likes

First of all, that’s not what the article claimed. Go back and read it carefully, and you will see that the CMI article does not claim that peer-reviewed articles argue for recent creation based on soft tissue fragments.

Secondly, the CMI article is sorely mistaken in its view of soft tissue fragments. The reasons why it is so badly wrong have been previously discussed many times in this thread. The best synopses of why it is glaringly wrong, IMHO, are here and here.

You might consider responding to those strong refutations of your claim, rather than simply repeating the claim as if you had not read those earlier posts in the thread.

This does not even make sense, because they all have the same provenance. If an art collector claims to have discovered 30 previously unknown Picassos, but then confesses that they are all fraudulent, it seems like a fruitless task to try to claim that 29 are fraudulent but one is legit.

But if Creation Ministries International cannot convince you that all of the Ica stones are likely frauds and therefore have no evidential value, I don’t know why I would have any hope of convincing you. :confused:

If you want to convince people who care about scientific evidence, you need to provide some documentation from the peer-reviewed scientific literature about the timeline of discoveries about dinosaur skin.

Tip: Perhaps the YEC blogs about this issue contain links to the relevant scientific literature?!

Best,
Chris

3 Likes

Has it ever occurred to you that it could be a drawing based on a fossilised sauropod skeleton? As @Klax pointed out, dinosaur fossils have been getting dug up since antiquity.

Such a possibility is infinitely more likely than the idea that live sauropod dinosaurs could have inhabited the area round Carlisle just five hundred years ago.

You need to cite your sources here. Where do you get the idea that fossilised dinosaur skin has been found with circles on it, and what evidence do you have that this wasn’t known about in the 1970s and 1980s? And how do you explain the fact that the Ica stones do not portray dinosaurs as having had feathers, as is now known to have been the case?

Because I don’t think you’ve even begun to understand what the term “soft tissue” actually refers to.

First of all, if you actually read the good, peer-reviewed articles properly, and don’t just skim them in some kind of ammunition-gathering exercise that only ends up with you quote mining them, you’ll find that they tell us that the length of time that soft tissues are likely to last varies very, very widely, and is very, very sensitive to environmental conditions.

Secondly, the expression “soft tissue” in these discussions can refer to a wide variety of things in very diverse states of preservation. At the “young” end, you have whole cadavers and carcasses such as Ötzi the Iceman or the woolly mammoths, with their internal organs still intact, fully sequenceable DNA in every cell, and even the remains of their last meals in their stomachs. These can be up to a few tens of thousands of years old, depending on the conditions in which they were preserved.

At the “old” end, on the other hand, you have partly (or completely) mineralised soft tissue remnants. These are unusual not because of their age but because it’s rare for soft tissue to be fossilised at all. But when it does get fossilised, it can persist almost indefinitely. Organic compounds can persist indefinitely, although they will degrade into simpler organic compounds. That is, basically, how oil forms after all.

The point here is, that you cannot just cry “soft tissue, therefore young Earth.” You must be accurate and precise in describing exactly what state the soft tissue remnants were found in. The problem with young Earth claims of soft tissue is that they completely disregard both these factors, treating rare, badly degraded and partially mineralised samples from the “old” end of the spectrum preserved in optimal conditions as if they were equivalent in significance to well-preserved carcasses from the “young” end. The two aren’t even remotely comparable.

Seriously, YEC arguments about soft tissue in dinosaur fossils are like claiming that just because your car can’t get from London to Berlin on a single tank of petrol, that means that it somehow can’t get from one end of your front driveway to the other on a single tank of petrol either.

4 Likes

Bivalve ligaments can stay fairly intact for 300 million years, with the caveat that aragonite very, very rarely lasts that long.

2 Likes

Peace of Christ, Craig!

About behemoth: is a grazing animal with hanging testes, likened to mammalian “beast of the field” and compared in power and authority to a multi-headed primordial sea dragon like leviathan any kind of dinosaur? You should check out Ben Stanhope’s blog and YouTube channel, it’s really insightful!

3 Likes

One caution on a much earlier point: “Kruger-Dunning Effect” is not statistically valid.

I just watched his video on behemoth in Job – thanks for mentioning it. One thing I learned from it is that there is a good case for translating “thighs” in the second half of Job 40:17, but both “tail” and “thighs” are euphemisms. The “thighs” euphemism was so obvious that many ancient translators simply put what it meant into the text.

Anyway, that’s a good correction for me. I guess I need to go easier on those modern translators. :slight_smile:

3 Likes

“Soft tissue” in fossils is a source of significant confusion, and it should be admitted that the publicity from conventional scientific sources and the popular media, not just the young-earthers, has contributed.

“Soft tissue” fossils include cases where originally soft tissue has been chemically replaced by minerals. As your nose recognizes, decay produces a variety of chemical changes. In turn, when buried in sediment, these can produce chemical settings that promote the depositing of minerals. For example, the “red blood cells” in dinosaur material are tiny balls of iron minerals - blood cells are rich in iron. It’s actually rather difficult to be certain whether those are actual mineralized blood cells, because many iron minerals can make ball-shaped structures on their own. Likewise, predatory dinosaur poop, like the big lump that probably came from a T. rex, is full of phosphate and calcium from the muscle and bone, so no surprise if it turns to phosphate minerals. Of course, once those turn to minerals, there’s no surprise if they last a very long time geologically. Such fossils have been known about for well over a century, many much older than the dinosaurs.

As Paraleptopecten already noted, there are also many fossil examples of tough but more or less flexible organic material being preserved. Hair, fingernails, and wood are familiar examples of this sort of thing. If they are exposed to oxygen, they will break down over time, and they can get eaten. But bury them away, or build them into bone and shell, and they can last extremely long times. Chemically, they can be quite resistant. A standard way to extract fossil pollen, bits of bug skeletons, cysts from single-celled organisms, and the like from a rock sample is to treat the rock with hydrofluoric acid. The rock will be gone and the “soft” fossils will be left. [DO NOT try that at home; hydrofluoric is extremely good at dissolving you as well as rocks.] Likewise, such fossils have been extensively studied for ages, and examples are known that are two to three billion years old or more, far older than the dinosaurs. Contrary to the popular headlines (including from sources that should know better), these are not unchanged. They have experienced significant chemical alteration, as would be expected, given their age.

There are some mummified remains of Pleistocene (Ice Age) animals, such as the occasional frozen mammoth (which do not occur in the huge numbers claimed by some young-earth sources) or dried-up ground sloth in the desert. These preserve soft parts. A few dinosaur specimens have been called “mummies”, but those are the impressions in rock from a dried-out dead dinosaur that got buried; the actual mummy is long gone. Similarly, soft tissue may be somewhat preserved in amber, though what’s actually present is often the remains of bacteria rather than actual surviving soft tissue.

It’s not clear whether Mark Armitage actually had dinosaur material, or just a bit of fairly modern bone - that was not adequately documented. But nothing that he found and nothing of what Mary Schweitzer found is a problem for an old earth. Despite the headlines going all the way back to the publicity article that Nature published, the presence of the tissue remains was not a surprise for paleontologists, at least not ones familiar with 450 million year old bivalve ligaments. What was impressive were the techniques developed to analyze the material.

5 Likes

@HRankin Do we have a BL article for ‘Are soft-tissue fossils a problem for Evolutionary Creationism’? If not @paleomalacologist might be off to a good start here.

We have this one!

3 Likes

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

This is a place for gracious dialogue about science and faith. Please read our FAQ/Guidelines before posting.